Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as swollen, painful red bumps that might resemble pimples or spider bites. The affected area might be:
- Warm to the touch
- Full of pus or other drainage
- Accompanied by a fever
These can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining. Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.
When to see a doctor
Keep an eye on minor skin problems — pimples, insect bites, cuts and scrapes — especially in children. If wounds appear infected or are accompanied by a fever, see your doctor.
Sept. 09, 2015
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/index.html. Accessed Aug. 13, 2015.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/antimicrobialresistance/examples/mrsa/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Aug. 13, 2015.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Non-necrotizing infections of the dermis and subcutaneous fat: Cellulitis and erysipelas. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Aug. 13, 2015.
- Anderson DJ. Epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 13, 2015.
- Lowy FD. Treatment of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 13, 2015.